Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Breast

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4

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This Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken Breast is SO easy and flavorful, you wouldn’t believe it only has just a few ingredients! The perfect easy crockpot chicken recipe for busy weeknights!

If you’re looking for more crockpot chicken breast recipes, check out this Crockpot Creamy Garlic Chicken or this Crockpot Tuscan Chicken!

overhead image of slow cooker creamy tomato basil chicken breast in white crockpot.

Life is busy and I’m busting out all the easy slow cooker, one pot and Instant Pot recipes to keep us sane! This Crockpot Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken is well-loved here around the dinner table.

Chicken is such a versatile protein so we always have a stash in the freezer!

This slow cooker chicken recipe comes together in no time with just a handful of ingredients that we usually have on hand — which makes it a win in my books!

The creamy tomato flavor combo is always a hit, and we love this chicken over a plate of spaghetti but it can really be a stand alone meal with a side salad if that’s your thing!

Reader Rating

“So easy and delicious! Followed the recipe exactly. 3 hours and was so moist. Served over spaghetti with fresh green beans Picky husband and foodie son went back for seconds!” — Liz

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If you love this recipe, you might enjoy this Slow Cooker Chicken Breast or this Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings — they are both easy Crockpot meals!

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Why we love this Slow Cooker Chicken Breast recipe:

  • it’s a Real Life recipe: it’s easy to prep, mostly hands off and the family loves. We all need more of that!
  • it’s a slow cooker win: with a lot of slow cooker recipes, I find you sacrifice either flavor or texture or both. With this chicken you dump and go, and the sauce is the perfect consistency when it’s done and the flavor is awesome!
  • it’s quick to prep: being a dump and go slow cooker, you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen, which is a plus on busy weeknights!

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Chicken Ingredients:

ingredients needed for slow cooker tomato basil chicken.
  • Chicken breasts: we always use chicken breasts for this recipe but boneless, skinless chicken thighs would also work well. If you choose bone-in chicken the cook time will increase significantly.
  • Tomato pasta sauce: this is simply a tomato sauce that you would use on pasta with herbs and seasonings, i.e., a marinara or something similar. This is not tomato paste. Choose your favorite well-seasoned brand!
  • Diced tomatoes: If you don’t like the chunks of tomato you can sub this out with an additional cup of tomato pasta sauce.
  • Garlic and seasonings: I’ve kept things simple, but feel free to experiment if you prefer. Add some red pepper flakes if you like things spicy!
  • Cream: I recommend heavy cream or evaporated milk in this recipe. I find that they have the lowest chance of curdling when cooked with the acidic tomatoes. I do not recommend low fat cream or milk, but you are always welcome to try!
  • Corn starch: A little corn starch helps to thicken our sauce. You can swap this out with flour if you don’t have any.
  • Fresh basil: fresh basil can be hard to find in the cooler months. Basil pesto is my favorite swap because it adds more of that fresh flavor than dried basil.

How to make Creamy Tomato Basil Crockpot Chicken Breast:

This is a simple overview to help guide you! Scroll down to find the detailed recipe in the pink recipe card.

  • Stir together sauce, tomatoes and herbs.
  • Whisk the corn starch into the cream.
  • Add the cream to the slow cooker and stir.
  • Add the uncooked chicken and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

How long to cook chicken breasts in the crockpot?

Not overcooking slow cooker chicken breasts is the key to having juicy and flavorful chicken.

I usually recommend 3 hours on low — this might be a little less if your chicken breasts are small or a little more if your chicken breasts are large.

If you’re cooking on high, check the internal temperature at 2-2.5 hours and add time as needed.

side angle of crockpot chicken breast in tomato basil sauce.

Can I use half and half or milk?

Low fat dairy has more of a tendency to curdle.

For that reason, the addition of the tomatoes and the long cook time, I prefer not to take the chance. My exception is low fat evaporated milk, which I find works really well in slow cooker recipes.

You are always welcome to try it!

What kind of tomato pasta sauce do I need?

Choose your favorite brand of tomato-based pasta sauce, i.e., marinara sauce or something similar.

You’re looking for a relatively smooth and well-seasoned tomato sauce, rather than a can of plan crushed tomatoes.

sliced tomato basil slow cooker chicken breast on a plate of pasta.

Tips for making this slow cooker chicken recipe:

  • Don’t overcook it — I find 3 hours is plenty for the usual size of my chicken breasts. I recommend checking the temperature at 2.5 hours for smaller breasts, and 3 hours for larger breasts, and adding time as needed.
  • I made this recipe in a 4 quart slow cooker — if you want to double it, I suggest a 6 quart slow cooker (I have both, and use them for different things!).
  • I really, really love using slow cooker liners. I will gladly pay the 50 cents or whatever they cost to not have to wash that beast!
  • Please always, always check the temperature of your chicken with a meat thermometer before serving just to be safe! All slow cookers cook differently.
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Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken

4.91 from 695 votes
This Slow Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Chicken is SO easy and flavorful, you wouldn't believe it only has a few ingredients! The perfect easy dinner recipe!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 210cal

Ingredients

  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs (398 ml)
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup evaporated milk or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Instructions

  • Add tomatoes, pasta sauce, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, basil and pepper to a 3-6 quart slow cooker. Stir.
  • Whisk together cream and corn starch and add to the slow cooker.
  • Add chicken breasts and press down into the sauce.
  • Cook on low for 3-5 hours, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. The exact cook time will depend on your slow cooker — a fuller slow cooker will take longer to cook, so a larger one will cook faster.
  • Stir in fresh basil and serve over pasta, rice, or with a salad and veggies!

Notes

*Some sauce was removed from the pictures in the slow cooker to show detail. The recipe makes plenty of sauce for pasta!
Ingredients and Substitutions:
Chicken: this recipe will also work with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or try it with chicken meatballs, sausages, or another cut for something unique!
Tomato pasta sauce: choose any tomato marinara-style sauce you like. The more flavor in the pasta sauce, the more flavor your chicken will have. 
Diced tomatoes: if you don’t like the chunks of diced tomatoes, I recommend just swapping with additional tomato sauce.
Cream or evaporated milk: Heavy cream or evaporated milk will work best because they do not curdle. Please do not use regular milk or a light cream. 
Herbs & seasonings: feel free to adjust the herbs and seasonings to your tastes. Like it spicy? Add some cayenne or red pepper flakes!
Fresh basil: we make this recipe all year round but fresh basil can be impossible to find. I like to swap with basil pesto for that fresh basil flavor.
 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 210cal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1099mg | Potassium: 977mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 657IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords slow cooker chicken breast, tomato basil chicken

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions

Comments

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I’m not sure Ava. I really do not have much experience with potato starch, so it would be an experiment for you.

  1. Margot says

    My family doesn’t care for big chunks of tomato. The substitution I use for anything that might end up still chunky is PETITE diced tomatoes. The smaller chunks break down more quickly and I haven’t had a complaint yet. I take that back. I forgot to clue my son in about that substitution in a recipe he requested – and it was different. 🫤

  2. Linda Aiello says

    I haven’t made this yet but it sounds delicious. Can I substitute half n half for the heavy cream. Thanks

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Linda, I do not normally recommend it. There have been a few readers who have tried it with success. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

  3. Alex hunter says

    We don’t like chunky tomatoes, so should we just use more paste? Or substitute paste for that in general?

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Alex, there is no tomato paste in this recipe, it’s tomato pasta sauce, meaning a pasta sauce that is tomato based. But yes, you could use more of the pasta sauce.

      • kellie says

        Can I use tomato sauce instead of tomato pasta sauce? Not sure the difference. And it says 3-4 chicken breast. I have 2 but almost 3 pounds. Does that work?

  4. Brenda says

    I made this recipe in a medium sized crockpot. The sauce came out great but my chicken breasts came out rubbery.

    I cooked the recipe for 4 hours at a low temperature.

    Next time I will try cutting my chicken breasts into smaller chunks, and checking the meat at 3 hours. (I’m guessing I overcooked the chicken)

    Suggestions are appreciated!

    Brenda

  5. Liz says

    So easy and delicious! Followed the recipe exactly. 3 hours and was so moist. Served over spaghetti with fresh green beans Picky husband and foodie son went back for seconds!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      I haven’t tried but I think it could work! It’s not usually recommended to freeze dairy, but the higher the fat content the better it will freeze (so heavy cream could be fine)

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Sam! Yes you can! I would recommend using high fat cream as lower fat dairy is more prone to curdling at high temperatures.

    • Megan says

      Country Crock plant cream is a great substitute for the heavy cream. I’ve used it in many recipes and can’t even tell the difference with regular cream!

    • The Recipe Rebel says

      Hi Beka, No I haven’t. You could possibly try a full fat non dairy milk? But I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so I can’t say for sure how it will work. If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!

  6. Serene Faulk says

    Delicious! I tweaked it a little by adding a splash or two of balsamic vinegar, couple sun dried tomatoes, and served with goat cheese on top. I am obsessed with this meal!!

  7. Sheila Jones says

    Made it – delicious. I had fresh tomatoes that needed to be used so replaced diced. Just delicious with mashed potatoes!

4.91 from 695 votes (552 ratings without comment)

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